Sometimes, when you least expect it, great things just land in your lap. For instance, you were once hanging onto a MRSA infested subway strap when a bum mistook you for a woman and offered you a seat.
Another time you were on the grocery line with cans of sardines and toilet paper in your arms when the person in front of you asked you to watch their cart while they ran for a carton of milk. Then... the check-out girl yelled ‘Next!’ and moved you all the way to the front of the line.
Unfortunately, those things only happened to you in markets and trains.
Poor you; Dad never amounted to much and Mom spent every cent investing in scratch off lottery tickets and pigeon feed. As a result, your birthright was reduced to a recyclable grocery bag and a rusty metal detector formerly used to find lost coins on city streets. In other words, chances for you being the recipient of a large inheritance were zilch.
To make matters worse, you had to spend a lifetime hanging around the perimeter of family gatherings watching a well-endowed relative indulge her cherished child. The only recognition you got from her was when you shook out a birthday card, or rearranged the freezer to make room for food delivered from the one who stuffed the cards.
In return for burnt chili and an annual $20 check, you became nothing more than a sounding board for that same mentally-unbalanced matriarch who wandered about looking for a place to vent animus toward her son’s ‘know it all’ wife.
Junior had done the unthinkable; he met a forsaken woman with kids, and fell in love with someone who stole from Mother the undivided affection she both demanded and craved.
As a result, year after year, there were repeated rifts and recoveries between the twosome. At no time in the recurring cycle did step-Gran accept her son’s adopted tattered tots.
Let’s face it; for certain old world-types nothing replaces a pure blood line. Thus, brokenhearted never-to- be-Gran, disillusioned by lost hope for genetically acceptable grandparent hood, was prime for a proxy grandchild to call her own.
That was when you came up with a Thieves with PhDs brainstorm. All these years you couldn’t wiggle your way into Big Bucks’ estate, so it was long past due to find someone else that could – but it had to be done before the ink on the last will and testament and the eggs in your ovaries dried up.
A project of such magnitude, although genius, required planning and physical sacrifice, but was nonetheless doable.
Of utmost importance was to make doubly sure the originally designated heir was so sincere and unquestioning that if you stole their car, with them in it, they wouldn’t know the difference until you dumped their sorry ass, over the border, in Juarez, Mexico
With minor details such as those in place, and with your eye on the prize, as a dedicated Thief with a PhD you upped-the–Auntie and set about the business of producing a replacement heir to accomplish what, thus far, you could not.
Oddly enough, in your case, the subsequent child was the third in a sequence of three ‘first born/only born’ direct-line blood relatives that included: the former heir and only child, son of the mother you burgled; yourself, also an only child; and your one-and-only child the chosen one who wrested hard earned currency from the hand of one said fickle octogenarian.
For lack of a better description, the characters were part of a certifiable Thieves with PhDs trinity.
When the project started you knew full well it was a gamble and could take a couple of years to complete. But with your advanced degree you had to know that in the business of swiping inheritances small children are like heroin to the veins of matured prey whose children never presented them with a blood successor.
After your child was old enough, you knew the next step was to invite the new addict to every recital and school play. Inheritance Heisters typically coin that phase of the operation: ‘Recorder Reprogramming,’ or “How a kid with an out-of-tune recorder can be a Pied Piper to a potential patron.”
At that juncture, introducing a smattering of visual, to the audio, was key to snatching the prize. The trick was to blow up life-size pictures of the bait, frame them, free of charge, and hang the gallery in the aged one’s living quarters.
Ingenious as always, you pasted them on the ceiling over up-the-Auntie’s bed, laminated and hung them in her bathtub, Elmer’s glued them on the napkin holder, placed one, facing in, on the inside of one of the lenses of her glaucoma-correction glasses and, finally, snuck a few into the hospital to dangle from her IV infusion pole.
Knowing how little ones stare, teaching kids to ignore skin tags, hairy moles and varicose-induced leg lumps must be part of any preparatory program involving the young. That aside, for you, the hardest part had to be teaching a third generation heister how to say to Tallulah “Meee wuvz u Mema.”
The ‘Grandma Ploy,’ had to be distasteful to both you and your mother (who, everybody knew, despised the wench). However, the GP tactic was useful, even if the object of the gambit was a cousin twice removed, and a no-fail, necessary-evil guaranteed to ensure ‘Real Grandma’ could continue playing the horses.
Moreover, and despite the formidable challenge of teaching Lil’ Al how to hold a pencil at six-months-old, sending greeting cards for every occasion, including Flag Day, Leap Year, Kwanza and Ground Hog Day, was a stroke of pure genius.
‘Miss Havisham’ must have thought those non-stop missives were really cunnin’ which could explain why she papered her walls with old cards depicting ringlet-curled mop-heads cuddling up with human Shar-peis.
In the end, the story proves that recruiting a cherub-to-cajole does provide a powerful weapon capable of annihilating fond family memories, searing consciences, and severing the umbilical cord of biological attachment. Therefore, attesting to the fact that if need be, as a last resort, it could be lucrative for others to follow your estate planning lead and incubate inheritance heisting artillery in an otherwise useless uterus.
Hey, it worked for you! Out popped Johnny and when he did the mere act convinced someone’s mother to endow her son’s seat on the train to your pipsqueak.
In addition, what also landed in your lap was an 87-year-old nest egg comprised of the proceeds of a grown man’s childhood home; a matured annuity or two; and the blood, sweat and tears of a departed father, who spent a lifetime accruing for his only son the inheritance you’ve had your eye on all your life, but never expected one day could actually be yours.
Cheers to you for truly outstanding work!